Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-9-2018

Major Department or Program



Professor Charles McKhann


As the local food movement (LFM) continues to gain public appeal, locavores repeatedly claim that local food systems ensure the health of the environment, community, and individual. The LFM benefits the environment in that it often advocates for environmentally sustainable and organic growing practices. Local food systems benefit communities not only because they provide economic support to local businesses and farmers but also because they can facilitate social interactions. Additionally, the LFM benefits the health of the individual by encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption and by providing the consumer with locally-produced food items that are not laden with toxic chemicals. While the environmental implications of the LFM are important to consider, this thesis is largely concerned with the implicit tension between the individual and the community. Specifically, this thesis will explore the ways in which the LFM cultivates community while also privileging the individual. I will ultimately argue that local food systems construct community through symbols and structures of exchange, while also participating in rhetoric that prioritizes individual interests.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Local foods -- Local food movement‚ Locavores‚ Sustainable development‚ Natural foods‚ Communities‚ Individualism‚ Environmental health‚ Food consumption‚ Privilege (Social psychology)‚ Social sciences‚ Whitman College 2018 -- Dissertation collection -- Anthropology Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

Included in

Anthropology Commons



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